Roger Stone Interview: "I Think LBJ Was the Lynchpin of the Plot to Kill JFK"
Image attributed to Roger Stone
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, remains one of the most perplexing and enduring mysteries of our time. Legendary political operate and strategist Roger Stone has gathered documents and used his firsthand knowledge to make a compelling case that Lyndon Baines Johnson was not only involved in JFK’s assassination, but was in fact the mastermind.
In his new book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ (released November 4, 2013), Stone brings to light blockbuster revelations demonstrating that LBJ had the unique motive, means and opportunity to murder Kennedy.
“I think Lyndon Johnson staged a coup d’état. We had a change in government because of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and I think Johnson was the lynchpin of the plot to kill Kennedy. He was the man who had the most to gain. Johnson was also the man who had the most to lose because in November of 1963, he was facing oblivion. He knew that Kennedy was going to drop him from the ticket, and he knew he was under investigation in two major corruption scandals of the day, the Bobby Baker and the Billie Sol Estes scandals.”
Stone is not only a political consultant and lobbyist, but he is also credited with taking down New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. He has been involved in politics since his teenage and college years and served as a senior staffer in 8 national Republican presidential campaigns including those of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Aside from politics, Stone is also known for his personal style and writes the annual “Ten Best and Worst Dressed Men and Women in the World” column for the Huffington Post while serving as men’s fashion editor for The Daily Caller.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Roger, how would you describe yourself politically?
Roger Stone: I think the libertarian movement has two wings just like the other parties used to have, so there are left libertarians and right libertarians. I guess I’m a right libertarian. In other words, I’m a Goldwater Republican who got disgusted with the fact that the Republican Party and the Democratic Party became the same big government parties with big spending, big borrowing and foreign interventionism around the globe until I’m not sure we’re spending our money or American lives wisely. Neither party committed to a balanced budget.
I am, at this moment, a registered member of the Libertarian Party, which had a presidential candidate, former governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico, who got a million votes even though they shut him out of the debates. In the national political scene, I still obviously have many republican ties. I was a Young Republican national chairman in 1977, and I worked for 8 Republican presidential candidates through the years. I’m a political realist. I’m not really a conspiracy guy per se. I don’t think that flying saucers went to Roswell, and I don’t think that the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11 was an inside job. I’m a hard-bitten political realist, but the story I tell is compelling.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): And that story is that the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, was responsible for the assassination of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy?
Roger Stone: I think Lyndon Johnson staged a coup d’état. We had a change in government because of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and I think Johnson was the lynchpin of the plot to kill Kennedy. He was the man who had the most to gain. Johnson was also the man who had the most to lose because in November of 1963, he was facing oblivion. He knew that Kennedy was going to drop him from the ticket, and he knew he was under investigation in two major corruption scandals of the day, the Bobby Baker and the Billie Sol Estes scandals.
Baker was the Secretary of the Senate and Johnson’s bagman, and Estes was a flamboyant Texas conman. Both of them made millions of dollars for and with Lyndon Johnson and had paid him enormous amounts of money. Johnson knew that Bobby Kennedy gave a dossier on all of that to Time Life and that there were several fulltime investigative reporters poking around courthouse real estate records to find out that he had been on the public payroll his entire adult life. Johnson was worth $25 million in 1963, which is like $150 million today. I think that speaks very much to motive.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I know that you claim that both Johnson and former President Richard Nixon had a documented relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald’s killer, Jack Ruby, many years before Ruby shot Oswald in 1963. Was it during your years with Nixon that you became suspicious about Johnson?
Roger Stone: No. It actually began much earlier than that. In my pre-teen years, I was a volunteer on the Goldwater campaign. Goldwater distributed a book called A Texan Looks at Lyndon: A Study in Illegitimate Power by J. Evetts Haley. This book was so popular that, in 1963, it sold more copies in Texas than the Bible. It was one of the earliest works on the amoral, psychopathic activities of Lyndon Johnson. This was a crude, vulgar, nasty, vindictive, sneaky, lying and epically corrupt man. Suitcases of money were going in and out of his office according to Congressional testimony.
This was a man who was abusive to his dogs, to his family and to his staff. This was a man who conducted meetings while sitting on the toilet defecating, which he did because he liked the discomfort that it caused among the Ivy League aides he inherited from John Kennedy. He was essentially making his aides smell his excrement as a way of humiliating them. He was a sadist.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): No mental problems, just mean?
Roger Stone: Johnson was probably an alcoholic because he was often drunk. He had a tendency to expose himself. One secret service agent said that when Johnson was president, if he was flying alone except for his protection, he would take all of his clothes off and walk up and down on Air Force One naked because he could.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Tell me about that fateful day, November 22, 1963, when then president John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Who killed him?
Roger Stone: I think the shooter was a man named Malcolm Wallace. Malcolm “Mac” Wallace was a student leader at the University of Texas. He was recruited early by Johnson’s right hand man Ed Clark. Wallace was a Marine marksman and had several federal jobs arranged for him by then Senator Lyndon Johnson and later Vice-President Lyndon Johnson.
Wallace worked in the Agriculture Department. In 1951, he shot and killed a man named John Kinser in broad daylight in front of witnesses. Kinser was intimately involved with Lyndon Johnson’s sister Josefa, who was a notorious bohemian bisexual party girl, very liberated for the day. I think Kinser was blackmailing Johnson or demanding money from him in the form of a “loan,” and Wallace shot and killed him.
When Wallace was apprehended, he told the arresting officer, “You can’t arrest me. I have to get back to Washington. I work for Senator Johnson.” He was arrested, went to trial and was represented by John Cofer who was the personal attorney for Johnson. Wallace was convicted of 1st degree murder and then got a 5-year suspended sentence from the judge who was LBJ’s crony, whereupon he immediately went to work at a company called Temco, a defense contractor later known as LTV. Temco was owned by D. H. Byrd who also owned something called the Texas School Book Depository building in Dallas.
D.H. was a major financial backer of Johnson’s, a rightwing oil man and big game hunter. After the assassination, D.H. Byrd was so happy about the death of JFK that he took the original, actual sixth floor window of the depository and had it installed in his living room as a trophy.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is there direct evidence to prove that Malcolm “Mac” Wallace fired a shot from the sixth floor?
Roger Stone: Wallace left a fingerprint in the sixth floor of the School Book Depository building on one of the cardboard boxes. It’s a 14-point match, which means that it is admissible in a federal court. There are other fingerprints from Lee Harvey Oswald, but I believe they were planted. I don’t believe Oswald was even on the sixth floor. That’s why he was disoriented in the beginning when it begins to dawn on him what has happened.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Was Oswald set up by Lyndon Johnson?
Roger Stone: Oswald was set up by the CIA. I’m not saying that LBJ did this alone. I’m saying he did it working with the CIA and the mob and Texas oil. He had a unique relationship with each one of them. Johnson was the appropriator for the CIA. He sat on the committee that oversaw the formation of the CIA and on the committee that approved their funding and all their secret appropriations and money. He was very good to the CIA.
Johnson was also very tight with the military because he controlled Richard Russell, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. That meant that no defense contract got left behind without Lyndon Johnson getting a couple of suitcases full of cash. Johnson was very close to the intelligence community. He was also a next-door neighbor to J. Edgar Hoover when he and Lady Bird bought a house on the same block as Hoover’s home. Guess whose FBI budgets never had any trouble increasing through all the years Johnson was the Senate Majority Leader? Johnson has delivered millions for the FBI.
Hoover was approaching mandatory retirement at 70 and knew Bobby Kennedy was going to get him fired. There was zero chance JFK was going to let Hoover continue in his job and give him a waiver, which the president has the power to do. But he knew that Johnson would give him the waiver. That was Hoover’s motivation to cover this up from the beginning, and he was in a hurry to cover up the assassination. He finished his investigation in three weeks, handed it to the Warren Commission, and said, “Here is the report. Rubber stamp it.” Hoover defined the crime as 3 shots all from the back.
The CIA wrote a plan where they wanted to go out and attack American facilities and kill their fellow Americans and blame it on Cuba like planting bombs in a PX, killing 14 Americans, and then saying, “Cuban nationalist terrorists did it!” JFK vetoed this, but that’s how ramped up they were about getting rid of Castro. It’s important to note that JFK, by running to the right of Nixon in 1960, set himself up. Remember his famous missile gap that he claimed the country had? That was the signal to the defense contractors, “Don’t worry. I’m going to keep spending in aerospace. I’m going to keep spending on weapons.” He had the people back the Brink’s truck up to the ramp, and then he attacked Nixon for not being sufficiently tough on Castro. He ran as a staunch “we will pay any price spare any burden” anti-communist.
Between the CIA and the Kennedy brothers, there were at least 8 individual attacks on Castro’s life all of which failed for one reason or another. Castro knew it too. The military industrial complex and their chief appropriator, Lyndon Johnson, were aghast at JFK. They were also fully aware of the fact that John Kennedy was being treated by the notorious Dr. Max Jacobson, nicknamed “Dr. Feelgood.” John and Jackie were getting regular shots of methamphetamine. They all wondered by what extent his judgment was impaired by the fact that he was high.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): That was reported to the public as treatment for Kennedy’s back pain, correct?
Roger Stone: Well, yeah, but the doctor admitted that his formula was a set of stimulants. They turned out to be a mix of vitamins, minerals, steroids and meth.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I interviewed famed forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht several years ago.
Roger Stone: He’s brilliant.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): We discussed the assassination, and Dr. Wecht discounted the single bullet theory and also doesn’t believe there was only one shooter.
Roger Stone: He’s right about both of those things. If you really want to behold something, go get a tape of Wecht and Arlen Specter going at it on radio. When they debated this, it was one of the most spirited things. Wecht is brilliant, but don’t underestimate Specter. I knew Arlen Specter very well. We were very good friends. There are several things in the book about him that are shocking. I learned them after his death, his badgering witnesses outside of the official proceedings prior to taking testimonies and threatening to throw one witness into a mental institution if she didn’t retract that she heard more than 3 bullets. It was stuff that was very nasty. But I think you have to understand Arlen Specter. He was a very young, very aggressive, very ambitious and very ruthless prosecutor and was doing what Warren and Allen Dulles told him to do.
Lyndon Johnson used a very clever ruse. He said to all these guys, “Look. It was the Russians, and if the American people learn that, 30 million will die in World War III. The American people will demand retaliation, and it will incinerate mankind. So we need to put this to bed. Oswald did it.” This was a domestic conspiracy. The Russians had no motive at the time. The truth is they had just taken John Kennedy to the cleaners in the Cuban Missile Crisis. We didn’t learn until 40 years later that Jack and Bobby gave away strategically placed missiles in Italy and Turkey. So our nuclear deterrent in Europe really suffered, but no one disclosed that to us.
JFK briefed Eisenhower, Truman and Hoover all on the telephone about his final deal, and he neglected to mention to any of them that he threw in the towel. So this whole idea that he should have backboned and backed the Russians down, which is part of the Kennedy playbook, is just not true. Khrushchev had no interest in killing Kennedy. He wept when he learned that JFK was dead. The idea that it was the Russians or the Cubans is false. Even John Kerry tries to lead there. He said, “I don’t believe Oswald acted alone.” When someone asks him who Oswald was working with, Kerry says, “Well, the Russians or the Cubans.” Again, that’s a false flag. That’s Johnson’s cover story.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Are you also saying that Lee Harvey Oswald never shot anyone including Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit?
Roger Stone: I don’t think he shot anyone. Let’s take this in parts. There’s a paraffin test of Oswald’s that shows he had not fired a rifle that day, that he may have fired a pistol, but it was not definitive. J.D. Tippit was killed with an automatic, but when they apprehended Oswald in the theater, he was carrying a revolver. The Warren Commission has never explained that.
We also have the testimony of Oswald’s landlady who says that while he was in his apartment, a police car pulled up in front and beeped the horn 3 times. I’d say that’s rather suspicious. The Warren Commission has never explained that. No. I don’t think he killed either one of those men.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): And you’re saying that Malcolm Wallace did not act alone when he shot JFK?
Roger Stone: I think there are additional shooters. I think there was a shooter on the grassy knoll. I think there was likely a shooter in the Dal-Tex building. It’s interesting that one Secret Service agent said, “We were under a fusillade of bullets,” which means multiple shooters. That is why the government went through this ridiculous contortion about JFK’s throat wound and the fact that the government monkeyed around with the autopsy photos.
The Warren Commission made their conclusions without ever seeing autopsy photos or autopsy x-rays. Instead, they were given an artist’s hand drawing rendering of the wounds. If that doesn’t smell of a cover-up, I don’t know what does. Then when autopsy records finally surfaced in later years, they’re clearly doctored. All those doctors at Parkland Hospital said there was an enormous wound in the back of his head yet the x-ray the government produced showed the back of his head intact. They were trying to hide a bullet from the front that blew out the back. At a certain point, it gets so obvious that it’s ridiculous.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Dr. Wecht mentioned that in 1972, he discovered that John Kennedy’s brain was missing from the hospital.
Roger Stone: Yes. This is extraordinary also. They blamed it on Bobby Kennedy. They said Bobby sent his secretary, Angie Novello, to go pick up the brain presumably in a jar. It’s beyond bizarre. Now, of course, it is missing. The chain of evidence is completely destroyed. The evidentiary record is corrupted and fabricated so that the bullets don’t match up. The shells that are supposed to have initials scratched in them don’t have initials. There are 3 shells, but the initial police report says, “Two shells found on the sixth floor.”
We know about the fingerprints that are found – 1 for Mac Wallace and 4 for Oswald – the rest of them are from clumsy Dallas police officers. That’s how badly corruptive this entire record is. Then they lost custody of the body in Texas. The body’s a clue, but they lost control of it. There were all kinds of discrepancies involved there. Technicians insisted the body came in a body bag in a pine box, but we know that JFK left Dallas in an ornate coffin.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you believe the murder of Senator Robert Kennedy was tied to his brother’s assassination?
Roger Stone: I think without question. Bobby was very shrewd. First of all, I think he was very shocked by the assassination and knew the antagonism of the mob was a contributing factor. He sent an emissary to Russia. Bobby and Jackie decided to send a gay artist, a painter who had cultural relations who got into the KGB with a three-part message that was, “We know it wasn’t the Russians. It was a domestic conspiracy. Dallas was a perfect place for the crime. The elevation of Lyndon Johnson is an egregious, grievous problem.” Those were Bobby’s words. So I think he knew. He mounted this almost insane effort to force Johnson to take him on the ’64 ticket.
Johnson hated Bobby, and he was not going to give him the breath of life. At least, he wasn’t going to give him the vice-presidency. After the death of Kennedy, Johnson was paranoid that he would be assassinated. He always insisted that the FBI have an agent doing security for him beyond the Secret Service because he had seen what the secret service was willing to do … to lay down on JFK. So he feared for his life. And he feared that day (November 22, 1963).
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): How did Lyndon Johnson remain unscathed in the motorcade?
Roger Stone: We know that before the first bullet was shot, LBJ hit the deck in his car. He huddled down on the floor of the car and listened to a walkie-talkie. He was waiting for the signal that it was done. Clearly photographic evidence showed Johnson down on the floor prior to the first shot being fired. Then he pressured the Secret Service agent to completely fabricate the idea that when the first shot was heard that the agent pushed Johnson to the floor of the car. That’s completely false, and photographic evidence proves it.
So Johnson was in a parade, the crowd was on both sides, his wife was smiling and waving, Jackie and Jack were smiling and waving, Gov. John Connally and Nellie were smiling and waving. The turnout for JFK was warm and enthusiastic. Johnson never waved and never smiled. He stared straight ahead with a sour look on his face through the entire motorcade until he ducked. He acted like a guilty man.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You mention that Kennedy’s assassination was not the first time Lyndon Johnson was responsible for murder.
Roger Stone: Yeah. I think Malcolm Wallace was his hitman. I think Wallace killed John Kinser in 1951 and that he killed the 3 informants in the Billie Sol Estes (who just passed away May 2013) case. I think Johnson arranged for the death of Sam Southwick who was a witness in Johnson’s vote stealing in his 1948 election and was about to testify for the grand jury. He was strangled in prison. The Texas governor at the time was Allan Shivers who called Johnson a murderer publicly over the incident. Johnson had stolen his senate seat by a fraudulent 87 votes. Those 87 voters originally had the same handwriting, used the same color ink and signed in alphabetical order.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Roger, have you personally heard any comments from Lyndon Johnson’s family or friends about the unfavorable accusations in your book?
Roger Stone: I know through politics that Chuck Robb, the former Virginia senator whose wife, Lynda Bird Johnson, is Lyndon’s daughter that she and Chuck are unhappy. They are board members of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. Former Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, former democrat and then known as Ben “Sharpstown” Barnes because of the Sharpstown scandal (although no charges were filed against him) is very unhappy. But we have a first amendment in this country.
I’m not the first person to posit this theory. I’m building on the work of Barr McClellan, Phil Nelson, Craig Zirbel and men who came before me who did huge amounts of research and all agree with my conclusion. I would add to that, James Tague, who ironically was the third man wounded that day in Dealey Plaza. Tague was a young car salesman who was standing on a curb. A bullet hit the curb, and a fragment of the bullet or a piece of cement (it’s unclear) came up and grazed his cheek, just scratched him. The police officer asked Tague, “What happened to your face?”
That caused the police to rewrite their report to accommodate that bullet. That’s what made it be 3 bullets. So the 3 bullet theory was invented because of Mr. Tague. He has also written a fine book more from a Texas prospective than mine, but he reached the same conclusion. The KGB did their own investigation. They were afraid it was going to be pinned on them. They also came to the same conclusion that Johnson did it.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What do you think of Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Kennedy?
Roger Stone: I just don’t know how O’Reilly could reach the conclusion that Oswald did it. He did a very good job of telling the same story that I’m telling you. He reported that Johnson is evil; he reported that he’s a psychopath; he reported that he’s very unhappy about being out of power. O’Reilly reported that Johnson’s in trouble with the Sol Estes scandal and that he’s on the verge of being dumped. But Bill O’Reilly just refused to connect the dots.
Watching the television version of his book, they never even have Oswald on the second floor. He saw a police officer 90 seconds after the assassination on the second floor. That’s indisputable. But he has Oswald on the sixth floor starting down the stairs to the fifth floor hearing someone coming and going back to the sixth floor. That never happened.
O’Reilly had Oswald carrying a disassembled rifle. That never happened. There are just too many errors. I’ll leave it to others in the so-called researcher community to pick it apart, but I just think O’Reilly came to the wrong conclusions. He made the case against LBJ, but he won’t pull the trigger, and it’s disappointing. I like Bill, and I watch him on television. I have many friends at Fox, but on this one, I just think he’s wrong.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Have you had any interest in adopting your book into a film?
Roger Stone: No, but I’ve thought about it. I think it would be a very good film. I’d like to get Randy Quaid to play LBJ.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What about JFK?
Roger Stone: I think this Rob Lowe fellow did a nice job on Killing Kennedy. I might ask him to reprise the role. But to me, Randy Quaid who’s half crazy anyway would be the ideal Lyndon Johnson.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Are you still considering running for political office?
Roger Stone: I thought very briefly about running for governor of Florida, but to be honest with you, trying to tell folks about my book is like being on a campaign, and I really couldn’t do both. I do think that the two parties have become too similar, both involve big government, spying on the citizens, Patriot Act, big taxes, big military, foreign adventurism. They’re really very identical.
Obama and Romney sounded different, but how different were they really? So I thought about exploring office, but I think I’d like to do another book. I’m thinking about doing the definitive book on Bill and Hillary Clinton. There are a lot of bodies buried there shall we say. I think there’s a trail of death that follows them around. I’m not prepared to get out there and indict them the way I have LBJ, but I just think it would be a fascinating book.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You have a book-signing coming up on November 22 in Dallas.
Roger Stone: Yeah. I’ll be there for the 50th anniversary of the assassination. I think after 50 years, it’s time for the truth. So I’m going to be at the Barnes & Noble in Dallas. We have tight security, but it is going to be a pleasure for me to say a few words and sign copies of my book. I learn something every time I do one of these book signings because more and more information comes out about LBJ. People tell me firsthand anecdotes that fit within this personality profile we have.
Again, it’s important to note that I’m saying that LBJ yoked a conspiracy of the CIA, organized crime and Texas oil. They all had their own reasons. The CIA was furious about the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis. The mob was upset that they had financed and stolen votes for John Kennedy, and he betrayed them. His father, Ambassador Joe Kennedy, brokered a deal with the mob. He was a gangster himself. He was a bootlegger and in business with Frank Costello (the head of the New York mob) running whiskey through Cape Cod and selling it in New York. That was where the Kennedy family’s fortune began.
Joe made a deal with organized crime to lay off the deportation proceedings against Santo Trafficante and Carlos Marcello, two major mob figures of that day. Then Bobby became Attorney General and began to pursue both of them. Old Joe ended up with a stroke. The mob tailed Lyndon Johnson, $55,000 a month to protect their Texas gambling operations. It’s interesting that as soon as Johnson became president, all of the wiretaps of organized crime figures that Bobby put in place in the Justice Department are immediately terminated at the orders of the president.
Johnson was always the protector of Texas oil while taking a healthy piece for himself. They kept him well lubricated in cash. We’re talking about H.L. Hunt, the richest man in the world at that time, Clint Murchison and D.H. Byrd the owner of the School Book Depository as well as the founder of the Texas Civil Air Patrol where Lee Harvey Oswald was a member as was David Ferrie the CIA operative pilot and comic relief for this story.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you think there will ever be a day when the CIA will open all the files and tell the public exactly what happened?
Roger Stone: Well, the Warren Commission is so bullet riddled and tattered, and there are so many challenges to its many conclusions. There is so much evidence that it’s wrong. The fallback positions for the mainstream media and for the government would be, “Okay. You’re right. But it was the Russians, you see. We did it to prevent World War III. We did it for the good of the country.” In essence, it’s too dangerous for the people to know. That would become the new second line of defense because no one wants to look at our own intelligence people.
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